Nose to Tail Cooking in Boston
In other parts of the world eating the entire animal is a way of life. Even in this country, you only have to look back a few generations to find a time when eating offal and innards was something to look forward to. I distinctly remember my Grandfather sitting at the table with anticipation as the smell of tripe in tomato sauce permeated the air. Jamie Bissonnette was intrigued by a lung dish he heard about from Marlo’s dad, in town visiting, a couple of years back. A quick call to Grandma Goldie and the recipe was in the mail (Apparently, Marlo’s Grandma Goldie doesn’t do e-mail). Interesting tidbit: I don’t think lung is allowed to be served in public.
On a broader scale, thanks to people like Fergus Henderson of London’s St. John, Stéphane Reynaud, author of the “Pork and Sons” cookbook, and shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, people are becoming more adventurous and open to the idea of expanding their palate. In Boston and the surrounding areas, we’re lucky to have a few restaurants that are embracing this movement. Michael LaScola of American Seasons, Jamie Bissonnette at Toro, Tony Maws at Craigie on Main, Marco Suarez of Eastern Standard Kitchen + Drinks, and Brian Konefal at BiNA Osteria are all using “Nose to Tail” philosophies in their respective menus. Just last night, while the majority of Americans were watching the Superbowl, another nice-sized crowd gathered at BiNA to sample the restaurant’s $20 pig fest. Instead of tucking into chili and bean dip, we were treated to homemade pig “chips” and dip, coppa di testa and “pigs” in the blanket, among countless other goodies. Brian’s pig butter, as always, served as the bread spread…it’s delicious and easy enough to even try some nose to tail cooking at home!
Brian Konefal’s Pig Butter (Strutto)
1 lb pork belly
Sprig of rosemary, thyme, sage
Pinch of salt and pepper
Splash white wine
Grind the pork with the salt and pepper. Sear the meat in a copper pot until golden brown. Remove from the heat, grind the meat and place into a small pot with the herbs and a splash of white wine. Place into oven at 300 F. When the fat has rendered from the meat, skim off the liquid fat and cool down. Serve accompanied by sea salt, fresh rosemary and thyme and slather on a piece of warm crusty bread.
Posted by Aaron